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Dancing with Spies: An Interview with Francis Billingsley

Tell us about yourself. How did you become an artist?

Early on I evolved artistically through music and lyrics being a lad of a Rock & Roll band. Later, developed an alluring taste for prose fiction storytelling of all types.

What was your first job in the art field?

In my late teens and early twenties, I was playing in an active Rock band and made some decent money.

What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?

First, I have to be inspired and driven by a circumstance, like in my AMS characters in a situation. or a place like Cuba for Dancing with Spies.

Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?

Dreams… what ifs… it all depends. Life will bring stories to you. If you are open and let them in.

Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?

In Sci Fi ‘12 Monkeys’. In musicals ‘My Fair Lady ( G. B. Shaw) and Lerner and Lowe. As to espionage fiction, the first three James Bourne films.

How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?

Business is business as in $$$. Yet the independent film movement opens its doors to people like me.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?

Each persons’ journey in life can be very different. Either you feel you are an artist or not. I am 73 now. I enjoy my imaginative journey in fiction writing, music, and dance. To be relatively poor in many cultures is to be stigmatized. So be careful. But I would say be true to your muse. Hay, it is your life. And may you all be safe from harm, healthy and fulfilled. God bless you all.

Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?

Yes. Perhaps sometimes.

What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?

People are people. I do think our eyes are opened a little wider now, and we are starting to listen to each other more… hopefully.

I continue composing, rewriting, and editing David the Anointed musical and The Bridge Experiment Sci Fi one act play/short film script. Although, I would love to return to Dancing with Spies and write the sequel to the original novel manuscript, or let’s call it a potential workhorse manuscript for season two and three of a TV series.

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